Monday, October 6, 2008

Hall of Faith

Warning: This post contains a lot of scripture references. Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed - I promise you can read them in just a couple of minutes. If you have time, please read them carefully (dont be a cheater! - cheaters never win and winners never cheat ;-).

From Hebrews 11

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Can you tell that my Bible study this week is on Faithfulness? I will admit that having or exhibiting faith is not always my strongsuit. I could go on and on about the subject of faith or lack thereof, but I really dont have time to do so right now. Hopefully, I will be able to flesh out my thoughts in a post later this week. But for now I want to ask you a question:

I wonder what sort of God-inspired achievement would come after our names if we were inducted into the Hall of Faith?

It is hard to imagine reading the words "By faith Beth..........." listed along side of heroes of the faith such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But, if we fulfill our purpose as believers, by faith we will do things that can only be done in His power.

Just a little something to think about today. By faith Beth.........

What will come after your name in the "Hall of Faith"?


Eddie said...

So many times we exercise our faith in the mundane and the not so important things and we fail to exercise our faith in the ONE we should exercise our faith in. Sometimes we fell that we have faith when we are only taking things for granted. Faith without action, the Bible says is dead. You just confirmed something that God has been dealing with me about. We never know what our words can do especially when they are God's words.
Love you,

Anonymous said...

Hold on a minute...let me dry me eyes. Boy did you hit the nail on the head today. I have REALLY been praying that God will take away my anxiety over financial concerns that 3 additional children bring. David and I have no doubt that we have been called of God to take these children in. He has provided so much for us and to Him be the glory!! Yet, I struggle with this issue. I can pray and leave it with Him--but only for a short while--after all, I KNOW that 2 + 2 only = 4 and not 400! This post came at a time when I really needed it! --Angela

Lisa said...

I've been out of the blog world for a while and I had forgotten how much I love reading your posts.
This really does touch home today. Thanks for sharing!
Oh, and I just read your post about your trip to the Land of Oz. I went there as a very, very small child. I love it and it broke my heart when the place closed. I should take my son there some time. Guess it'll have to wait until next year since it's only open the one weekend a year.
Glad you had a good time.

Greg P. said...

By faith, Greg...

"got RIGHT the most important decision he would ever make in his life. Wonders never cease!"

Mommyluann said...

Good word my friend. And hey...lets get Angela in to the blog world..she has a lot to offer us by way of blog..i love her comments!

ocean mommy said...

This passage always moves me. But tonight, I needed to slow down and read it with fresh eyes. Thanks for making me do that.

Fran said...

Yeah...a little something to think about. ;) Did you know my boys in 3rd grade memorized all of Hebrews 11 and recited it many times throughout the year??!! Yes they did and I bet they could pick it back up and have it again in no time. Yeah, I'm proud. But, I think this scripture is POWER PACKED!!!

I love ya...

Heidi Zawisza said...

By faith Heidi trusted God with her marriage.....and he prevailed.

RefreshMom said...

Interesting question. And interesting timing. This passage came up in our class at church yesterday and in my BSF lesson this week...there seems to be a theme here! I'll have to spend more time with it. Thanks.


JOSE 08 said...

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